Sony announces a pair of digital binoculars perfect for snooping

Sony's DEV-3 and DEV-5 binoculars combine the birdwatcher's essential tool with the features of camcorder.

It's hard not to be at least a bit perturbed by Sony's first digital binoculars, the DEV-3 and DEV-5. Built for birdwatchers, sports enthusiasts, and perhaps stalkers, the devices are the first from Sony to combine the functionality of the binoculars with a variety of digital add-ons.

Capable of taking 7.1-megapixel still shots and recording 1080p HD video in either 2D or 3D, the devices' electronic innards allow them to function just like camcorders. Sony has even furnished both binoculars with Optical SteadyShot stabilization, which is also present in its cameras and camcorders.

While the DEV-3 and DEV-5 are mostly identical, the DEV-5's 20x zoom is double that of the one on the DEV-3.  The DEV-5 also comes equipped with an on-board GPS receiver, allowing, for example, bird watchers to know the exact location of a spotted bird without the need for a separate device.

WIth those features, you probably shouldn't be surprised to find out that the DEV-3 and DEV-5 run for $1400 and $2000, respectively. Be on the lookout for them this November.